SC orders more compensation for Kandhamal riot victims

New Delhi: Reasoning that the compensation paid to victims of the 2008 communal riots in Kandhamal ‘inadequate’, the Supreme Court has ordered the Odisha government to pay additional compensation to them.

Maintaining that the amount paid to the victims of the violence was not enough, a bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit today ordered additional compensation to be paid to them.

The court verdict pronounced by Justice Lalit came on a petition by Archbishop Raphel Cheenath.

Communal riots broke out in Kandhamal district and other parts of the State after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four of his associates at his Jalespeta Ashram on August 23, 2008. The riots that lasted nearly a month left at least 38, a majority of them Christians, dead.

The Sangh Parivar had alleged that members of the Christian community were behind the conspiracy behind the murder of Saraswati. But Maoists had owned up the killing saying the godman was punished for dividing the people along religious lines.